Warning Signs of Suicide

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Suicide does not have one single cause. Certain factors like substance abuse and untreated depression can lead to higher risk of suicide just as having a trusted group of friends can help protect you. Read more about the warning signs of suicide, risk factors and protective factors of suicide.

Call 911 or the emergency service in your country if you see or hear the following:

  • Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt himself/herself. 
  • Searching for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair. 
  • Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.

 

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.

 

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
  • Talking about being a burden to others;
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
  • Sleeping too little or too much;
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

If you notice a sudden sense of calm and happiness in someone after them being extremely depressed, that can mean the decision has been made to attempt suicide. If you see the warning signs, you need to SPEAK UP. But what if you're wrong? What if they get angry?  Yes, the conversation will be difficult and uncomfortable, but it could save a life.  

WAYS TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT SUICIDE

“I have been feeling concerned about you lately.”

"Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.”

"I wanted to check in with you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately."

You'll find more helpful information and resources about suicide prevention on the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education website.

And emergency, professional help is a phone call away:

NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)  

or text "SIGNS" to 741 741

for 24/7 anonymous and free crisis counseling

request a service

858-261-4527
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